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Old 06-17-2004, 12:00 PM   #1
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
How to choose dojo if there are choices?

Dear experienced members,

I'm new in Aikido and I'm about to choose a dojo to start practicing and fortunately there is a wide choice of different dojos in my area (Silicon Valley, Fremont, CA). But I'll make this question broader, since I'm sure many new members may have it.

I'm lost in this variaty of choices!

I know this question is not a "politically correct" since you probably can't advertise one dojo (which will mean others are not so good) and this is also a question of ones taste, reasons, character, spirit and so on. I probably will need to go there and see myself anyway, but maybe you could help me to narrow my search.

I tryed the "dojo search" link on this site and it gave me 86 matches in 75 miles area around me.
All the items are sorted by the distance, but for me (and I'm sure for many others) that is not the reason we choose a particular dojo.
The other probably important parameter is Affiliation, and there are a number of organizations:
2. Aikikai
3. Ki Federation of Great Britain
4. Seidokan
5. Shugenkai International
6. Suginami
7. Pacific Aikido Federation
8. Takemusu Aikido Association
9. CAA (Division I, II, III)
11. Aikikai Hombu
12. New School Aikido
13. Pacific Aikido Takemusukai, Michio Hikitsuchi
14. Aikido of San Jose
15. Hombu Dojo
16. USAF
17. USAF (West, East)
18. Takemusu Association
19. IYAF
20. TAA
22. Kokikai Aikido International
23. Ki Society
24. Seishin Aikido
25. Jiyushinkai
26. Kumano
27. Ten Chi Kai Association

Wow... There is also Style:

1. Aikikai
2. Iwama
3. Aikikai Hombu
4. Ki Aikido
5. Seidokan
6. Shugenkai Aikido
7. Yoshokai
8. Shingu
9. Kumano Juku
10. Yoshinkan Aikido
11. Tomiki
12. Shusekai
13. Kokikai
14. Shin Shin Toitsu
15. Seishin Aikido
16. Jiyushinkai

So I think you got what I mean by saying "I'm lost". Well not to narrow my search there is also probably the most important parameter (besides you) - the instructor. I will not list all of them, but beleave me there is a GREAT choice!

I'm not expecting any of you to describe me every aspect of all the associations and schools, but maybe you could shortly comment on them, like these styles are focused more on spiritutual and internal growth, these are more focused on physical, maybe there are associations, that are not eligible to affiliate? Any information will be a great help!

Please help me to narrow my search.
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